UN remains lukewarm toward Terkel Committee

By JORDANA HORN
June 29, 2010 04:42

Ban Ki-moon prefers international UN-led flotilla investigation.

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

ban ki-moon 311. (photo credit: AP)

NEW YORK – The formal launch of the Terkel Committee was greeted with lukewarm enthusiasm by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who has continued to voice his preference for an international, UN-led investigation into the May 31 flotilla incident.

The secretary-general has “taken note” of the Terkel Committee’s initial meeting, a representative said.

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Ban said recently that he had discussed encouraging proximity talks and “fundamental changes” in the Gaza blockade with world leaders at meetings of the Group of 20 and the G-8.

“I informed the leaders that my proposal for the investigation on the flotilla raid is still on the table,” he said. “And it is, at this time, important that these proximity talks continue, and we really do not think about any scenario of this situation [the flotilla incident] in the Middle East rushing into a more violent or dangerous situation.”

Ban also expressed the hope that next month’s meetings between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama would “provide a good opportunity for the two leaders to discuss, more in-depth, how to bring peace in the Middle East.”

“A thorough Israeli investigation is important, and could fit with [the secretary-general’s] proposal,” the representative said, but added that the proposal “would fully meet the international community’s expectation for a credible and impartial investigation” and that “a strong international component is vital for an investigation that would be seen as impartial and credible.”

“The secretary-general’s proposal for an international inquiry remains on the table, and he hopes for a positive Israeli response,” the representative said. “We are waiting for positive responses.”

Israeli sources said that Israel was likely to wait for the conclusions of the Terkel Committee before committing to participation in such an effort.


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